Story time: first ever bonus

monkeytomd's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 312

Hey everyone,

The title is pretty self-explanatory, could any of the older guys share their feeling when their first bonus hit their checkings account? Not looking for any numbers, rather the feeling /sense of accomplishment, I'm sure at that time of your career it was something to be proud of.

Mod Note (Andy): View 2018 bonus numbers discussion here.

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Comments (48)

Jan 24, 2019

^high school senior trying to live vicariously

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Jan 29, 2019

Sure beast

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Jan 31, 2019
monkeytomd:

Sure beast

Tbh that is exactly what a high school senior would say

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Feb 1, 2019

Haha, think you nailed it on that one. "Sure beast" pretty much confirmed it.

Jan 29, 2019

I drew my checking account down to $0.01 and stayed up until 2am to see it hit. It was amusing.

But, I had already decided all of the responsible things that i was going to do with it (pay down student loans + save), and was already wondering what comp would be like in the following year.

Not anti-climactic, but not a Wolf of Wall Street moment.

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Jan 29, 2019

Immediate scorn for all of the non elite that were going to share in the other 50% of my bonus.

Jan 29, 2019

So true

I felt like I had been robbed

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Jan 29, 2019

Funny yet true

Jan 29, 2019

It was a magic moment because I was so stressed about my first two weeks of work that I had forgotten about it. I looked at my pay check for the first pay period and thought it was a mistake because it was essentially twice as much.

I later used it to get a new(used/new to me) car. Still driving that car as we speak. Best Bonus I ever spent!

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Feb 5, 2019

You should not really drive and text

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Jan 29, 2019

I was at a stop light, I swear

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Jan 29, 2019

not that big of a deal given NY and uncle sam take 50%, i felt cheated honestly

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Feb 1, 2019

Honest question, but do you get a decent chunk of change back in your tax returns? Obviously nothing as big as the bonus itself, but it should be a pretty decent check considering how over-taxed bonuses usually are?

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Jan 29, 2019

The first time, I stayed up til 3am to watch it hit the account and budgeted out how every dollar would be allocated.

The last time (10x my first bonus), I forgot I was getting paid, had no plans for the money, and felt nothing because it was already priced in. That saying about money (past a certain point) not making you happy is real.

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Feb 1, 2019

yeah same - felt nothing because it was already priced in (i.e. if you expect a $200k bonus and you get it, does nothing to your happiness when it hits) and if you already have $500k in the bank a $100k increase ($200k after taxes) does nothing to your happiness since there is nothing you can't do with $500k that you could now do with $600k

TLDR: Bonus = no happiness since you already expect it

-

Funniest
Jan 29, 2019

T'was a bleak and drab evening, but even Zeus and his harrowing control over the weather could not upset my mood. As I was leaving the office my palms were sweaty, knees weak and heavy, I questioned whether or not I was going to pull the trigger on my first spag-- Patek Philippe. After all I earned it, pulled myself up by the bootstraps, went to a state university, and now a master of the univer-- PowerPoint and Excel.

As soon as I entered my apartment, I was met with a warm welcome from my roommate, but I did not have the time for conversation with a JPMorgan Treasury Services peon, a peasant, a fucking plebeian, floating through the hyperborean wind without direction, chopping wood on Runescape for fun.

I pulled out my $4000 Alienware Area-51M gaming laptop (which I intended to pay off with my bonus), navigated through all the xvideos clips that I had opened, and logged onto my chase bank account.

The credit amount in my bank account brought forth tears of joy, i had lost my virginity, state taxes and uncle sam hath bended me over and fucked me like a whiggie at Coachella.

"damn after taxes there is no way i can afford a Patek Phillipe, guess its a Panerai for now"

Fin.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jan 29, 2019

Unexpected Runescape

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Jan 29, 2019

Should start a WSO clan

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Jan 29, 2019

That second paragraph though. laughing

"Be persistent and you will get, be consistent and you will keep it, be grateful and you will get more"

phuckQuotes

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Feb 4, 2019

Sleeper pick for best WSO user right here

Dayman?

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Jan 29, 2019

Mostly underwhelmed by how much actually ended up in my bank account due to taxes.

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Jan 29, 2019

first one felt pretty good, but as Tom Brady would say "You know what my favorite super bowl ring [bonus] is? The next one."

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Jan 29, 2019

5 months after Lehman was my first bonus
fuck you

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Jan 29, 2019

Sort of sad once the initial feeling (read: 48-hours) went away.

Realized that money doesn't actually make you happy over a certain baseline.

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Most Helpful
Jan 29, 2019

The great thing about bonuses - at least until you reach D / MD - is that they just keep getting better. For me, the feeling gets better and better as they get bigger and bigger and you work just a little bit less. That's how they hook you. https://i4w8j7y6.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/MatthewMcConaughey.jpg

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Jan 29, 2019

Written & expressed like art

Jan 30, 2019

Sadly, I felt like a human being for the first time in a year.....in IB you're so abused and demeaned all time for next to nothing on your base. The bonus finally makes it seem somewhat worth it.

Jan 31, 2019

Joy for 10-15 minutes, then the reality sets in of "was all that shit really worth it?".

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Jan 31, 2019
  1. Fuck, I can't believe I only get half.
  2. Fuck, it's all going to debt repayment.
  3. Fuck, this wasn't even really worth it.
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Jan 31, 2019

Keep your eyes on the prize. More money is just 364 days away.

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Jan 29, 2019

Exactly! Let's griiiiind!

Jan 31, 2019
Jan 31, 2019

Threw it in the ole Etrade account and kept it moving. Hardly felt richer. It was cool seeing double digits in my checking account for once though. I work in Real Estate so that was new to me.

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Feb 1, 2019

One year specifically sticks in my mind. It had been a disastrous year for the business and nobody got a bonus (usually paid December). At the time there were vague murmurings about potential for some token amount mid-year which nobody took seriously and I completely forgot about.

Fast forward to March and my boss calls me into his office to let me know I was getting paid a bonus. It was a relatively small amount, I think $15k but the thing that struck me is how little the money meant to me.

I literally woke up that day expecting nothing and I was now $7.5k richer (as others have said tax is a real thing). It was kinda the equivalent of winning $15k and I thought it funny that most people would be ecstatic at that but the reality of it was it amounted to $7.5k after tax and either meant buying some toy that I did not need and whose novelty would be gone in a week or doing something sensible and improving my financial security.

You do reach a point, and it is at a much lower level than a lot of the kids on here think, where additional money does not have that much of an impact. It becomes the difference between an Omega or a Patek, a basic 4/5 star hotel v a high end 5 star hotel, an off the peg suit v bespoke etc. etc. Those things sound cool but do they really have that much of an impact?

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Feb 1, 2019

This is very true. I think kids who have no money yet think the number they need to hit to be satisfied is a lot higher than it turns out to be in practice. That's why money can't be the only thing that motivates you to stay in the game and so many drop out of the race much earlier than they would have ever thought.

The thing is--your compensation changes marginally year-on-year so even if the step changes seems large(ish), you get decreasing marginal utility to additional dollars earned. That's why the labor supply curve is backward bending. That jump from $100K per year to $200K per year is much bigger than the one from $400K to $500K.

Eventually, you almost start believing you've earned it. It's amazing what you can rationalize and get used to.

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Jan 29, 2019

great insight, thanks. What's your take on money motivating people but with actual dependents behind them and obligations?

Feb 2, 2019

In my opinion, this is probably one of the biggest benefits of starting your career in investment banking. Coming to the realization that it's not all about money is probably one of the most valuable internal realizations you can possibly come to in your career, it's when you actually start finding true intrinsic motivations and pursuing things that genuinely interest you. I feel like so many people come out of college with their eyes solely set on making as much money as possible, and won't come to the realization that money doesn't create happiness until they reach their 30's (when most people would hit comp in the 100-200k range). The analysts that came in with the wrong mindset get slapped in the face with this realization as 22-23 year olds, and have much more flexibility to pivot to something else their passionate about. It's not a good feeling to experience if you have been set on "getting rich" for as long as you can remember, but the earlier it happens, the better.

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Feb 2, 2019

BS - it doesn't seem meaningful unless you compare it to getting $0 and laid off (no not me - but think about alternatives.)

Feb 1, 2019

To be honest, it sucked.

Spent the first year in the London office for the bank I was working for.

Moved to the NYC office for the second year.

My PS bonus was quite cool till I realised how different bonus pay is in NYC.

The following year was quite cool, though.

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Feb 1, 2019

Graduated from a target university with a good GPA in finance, landed a full-time banking role in the city. Was there for a year but was surprised by how intense, rat-racy, and toxic it was, in my experience. The traditional path of course is something like banking - > PE -> MBA -> PE -> die lol but fortunately I think better things might come in life.

I am 24 now going on 25. Since then I've been dabbling a little bit with day trading, where I have lost a bit of capital, and content writing which I enjoy, for now.

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Jan 29, 2019

Seems like a more intriguing and unorthodox path, how do you sustain this work now since I assume you quit your IB job?

Feb 1, 2019

First thing my boss told me after giving me the bonus breakdown:
"You don't get rich buying cars".

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Feb 5, 2019
Rahma:

First thing my boss told me after giving me the bonus breakdown:
"You don't get rich buying cars".

I had an older friend (RIP) who's been in the markets since before humans evolved (I mean it!). First thing he told me was to spend money on experiences, not material possessions:
"What would you rather get, a blowjob or another Rolex?"

Feb 1, 2019

it went out the door that same day as a "cash flow sweep" for student loan debt paydown.
best feeling was after a few years I closed out my student loan account.

best line I heard from someone more senior upon receiving my first paycheck at an internship: "Ah the first paycheck. The time when young people change from being Democrats to Republicans."

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Feb 1, 2019

Blew it ASAP

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Feb 1, 2019
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Feb 3, 2019
Feb 4, 2019
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